Over the last few days, I have put in place, the boundaries and rules of engagement, that align with my morals and values. The battle is over, and the arena is drenched in blood and gore, and I rise victorious.
Scrubbing up from the battle and reviewing the wreckage, I know, who got in the arena with me, and who did not. I know all the people who gave me criticism and feedback that was abusive and really not what I had expected from sober men and women, let alone from some of my closest friends.
With that said, I have purged my life of people, places and things.
Thursday, last week, I was presented with responsibility that was not mine to begin with. Nonetheless, as the weekend began, I told a friend that I would engage this responsibility this week, in fact. That did not happen.
Putting the rules of engagement on the table from the beginning was a waste of time.
I chose not to engage because Friday really is not a good day to expect an institution to process an intake. Especially on a Friday afternoon. I chose, instead, to wait until the beginning of this week, to make my move for a total stranger, because I was asked.
Over the next three days, my phone rang off the hook. You’d imagine, that, if I did not answer one call, that I probably would not answer the second, third, or twelfth…
I chose NOT to answer my phone because I really was NOT in the mental space to deal with anyone else but ME over my fiftieth birthday weekend.
Mental Illness is a delicate business, and I need all my faculties to do my job correctly.
I thought I had made that clear with my, Not Gonna Touch this till Monday response.
On Sunday, my best friend met me for a day of fun, food and conversation. Having my best friend physically, with me, instead of on a long distance call, is PRIME TIME.
We took the Metro up to his old neighborhood, to get some Brazilian food and drink. On the way there, we stopped in that most dangerous place, A RECORD SHOP.
Whilst I was thumbing through records, in total bliss, my phone rang, yet again. I let it go to voice mail, again, on purpose.
As we exited the shop and made our way to food, my best friend hands me HIS phone. On HIS phone was a text, from the human being I was ignoring on purpose. Her text said and I quote …
“I know Jeremy is with you. He is not answering my calls, so I need you to tell him that he needs to call me …”
Major Fuck Up there …
What part of Not Gonna Deal with You Right Now, don’t you get ?
My lady friend not only spends her free time dialing my phone like I am some Beck and Call Boy … she expects me to answer her every time she dials my number, and she invades my personal space, while I was busy spending time with my best friend.
Like the only thing on my mind is serving the needs of a self-centered, selfish, bitch.
As I was preparing to order my food, I let it rip.
How do you properly tell someone to fuck off, nicely ???
I tried. Didn’t work …
Lunch was served in Styrofoam take out containers. And we dined like rich Romans in the park, whilst pot was being smoked left and right.
The rest of the day was blessedly void of interruptions. Thank the Baby Jesus.
Monday Morning, I crafted my final fuck off salvo.
Needless to say, my phone has not rung once, in response to said salvo.
I don’t like to be abused by my friends, or strangers for that matter. I really don’t like being taken advantage of either, because, for the record, I never say the word NO to any of my friends, unless I am sick or dead.
They expect me to always say yes, be amenable, and never raise my voice or cuss, for that matter.
Over the last year, that has all changed.
We chatted about reciprocation:
Many of my friends, sober they may be, Never reciprocate, Ever.
Especially, if that means they need to listen to me talk about ME.
Over the past many months, many of my friends took this tack with me. And over and over again, told me to just shut up. And out of the other side of their mouths, continued begging for me to help them, just the same. Just as long as I was doing for THEM.
Nuff said about that.
**** **** ****
Thursday we spoke about a fellow who was addicted to a light switch. Addicted to that light switch so badly, that he was not paying attention to reading The Book with us, let alone listen to anything that had been said over the last eleven months, I have been sitting in this particular meeting.
So I went to The Tire and bought a light switch. Something you wire into the wall and use. Tomorrow night I am going to give said light switch to that fellow who drank again with the words as follows:
Here is your light switch. I am giving it to you so that you remember what took you out the door and to another drink ! Every time you touch your dick or reach for a drink, I encourage you to “Flip the Switch!”
Gay men, are only concerned with three things: Dick, Drugs, and Alcohol.
Like I have stated before, my gay friends have no love for me, and haven’t for some time.
Sometimes, after witnessing my friends and fellows make really bad decisions, when they knew the consequences, I can’t help myself but to be brutally honest with them.
I’ve listened to this man talk bullshit out of both sides of his mouth for as many years, I have known him. Hell, I even sat with him and attempted to help him.
Many people never get past the first direction: Call Me Every Day !
Even if they own a cell phone or hell, better yet, a SMART phone. People don’t use the phone for the intention is was built for. Only for an APP…
UGH Fuck me ten ways from Sunday !!!
So, you spend YEARS listening to someone caterwauling about sorrow, and men, and drugs, and sobriety … Spinning their wheels whilst really needing us to engage you and feel sorry for you and engage with your story, as we drain our hearts in meetings week after week, and in the end, what happens ???
Every word spoken went in one ear and out the other. AND …
He drinks AGAIN.
UGH, Kill Me Now …
That I tried to help you, and you said FUCK YOU … just makes me even more angry.
Working with others has its challenges. The odds are against them all. But I can safely say that every human being I have engaged, is still clean and sober.
And I am not talking about my ego or my skills. It isn’t about me.
Is Fifty looking good on me yet ?
I’ve been sitting in meetings with my friends for over fifteen years. We have all heard the same stories, the same warnings. We’ve listened to LONG sober men and women come from distant places to encourage us to heed their warnings about drugs and alcohol.
I sit back and I listen to words. And I hear those words and I pack them in my bank. And over and over again, people do stupid shit.
It’s like a compulsion.
I hear you, but I think I am going to do THIS OTHER THING INSTEAD…
When you get sober, you have two choices.
- You sit in your chair and you pay NO attention to anyone or anything, OR
- Over time, you engage with your fellow-men and women.
- Engaging has its issues, you see, Note Above …
My friend Roger would tell me that: If I think I know something for sure, that I better sit my ass down and keep my mouth shut, for better or worse.
Thank God I have this blog that I can write whatever the hell I want and rant about stupid shit and stupid people.
FUCK ME …
They never said Sobriety was going to be a cakewalk. Getting sober is a bitch, and the odds are against us every day.
Nowadays, it’s not so much quitting the drink, but Staying Stopped.
The very last story in the book said that line. We all read it. Together. And we all talked about what that meant.
STAYING STOPPED …
And three days later, dumb shit drank again…
What part of Staying Stopped did you miss ???
UGH !!! I hate my life …
Rarely have we seen a person fail, who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those too who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.
The meeting AFTER the meeting was better than the actual meeting itself. The meeting AFTER the meeting was spurred on by the discussion we had the hour prior.
The reading talked about Ego Smashing. But words like Powerlessness, and Surrender came up from the circle, so I went with Surrender. I just reiterated the thought we had heard a few weeks ago, that I wrote about that night, here, that:
Every day I admit I am powerless and I don’t have all the answers, and I am sure as shit NOT in control. And what matters, when I kneel to pray every morning, is the QUALITY of my daily surrender.
What I did not know fifteen years and seven months ago, I kind of know NOW. The topic of anger and rage, came out of the mouth of a very holy man sitting with us. And when a very holy man says the word FUCK in his share, you know it ain’t good.
The last year has been learning about Surrender, and the Quality OF that Surrender.
The last page that needed to be turned in my life was anger and rage, combined. I’ve turned it all over, ALL of it. Every last shred of my soul is now in God’s hands.
When we pray, each day, we ask God for something. But as we ask from God, He asks something from us. Spencer tells me all the time that, God requires us to surrender something to Him, in order for HIM to help us.
And the Further we let Go and Give it to God, HE, in His infinite wisdom, knows what to do with that which we give Him. Our relationship with our Higher Power, (read GOD) is based on a give and take, not just take, take, take.
If we don’t give God anything to work with, what are we doing asking for anything in the first place ?
I told my holy man tonight that he really needed to sit down and write out his seething resentments and anger that is eating him from the Inside – Out. Seething anger, I KNOW, ate at me for the whole of my life, and I hung on to that shit, for dear life.
Today, the anger and resentment is gone from my life. One day at a Time. But you know, it only takes a thought from my sick mind to reignite that rage and anger.
The Program tells us, through the book, that the ultimate goal in sobriety is to become Happy – Joyous – and Free … Am I there yet ? Maybe.
The book of Fifty is waiting on me to open the cover. The spine has never been bent. It is a new book. I love New Books.
I am re-reading the Spirituality of Imperfection by Ernie K.
Funny, I read that book, over the last year, and it had been sitting on my bedside table all this time. I SHOULD have cracked it because I am reading again, stuff I really needed to hear over the last little while, and had forgotten, in my resentful seething anger.
We are changing up the Monday night meeting in a weeks time. We are sure as shit not going to listen to another man piss and moan about digging himself out of the pit of hell that he put himself into by drinking. I just don’t have the stomach to listen to another shit head moan about Letting Go and Letting God.
Like, really, Don’t fucking talk a game you think you have and talk shit about sober topics you think you know, and play a game, with everybody in the room, like you really wanted to get sober … Fuck You … You HAD NO Game to begin with, which is why YOU DRANK again…
I just cannot sit in the room any longer listening to your shit …
So we are going somewhere else to meet new people and hear new things.
Thank God I am sober today.
Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, fellow Americans, and people of the world: Thank you.
We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and to restore its promise for all of our people.
Together, we will determine the course of America, and the world, for many, many years to come.
We will face challenges. We will confront hardships. But we will get the job done.
Every four years, we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power, and we are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent.
Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the people.
For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.
Washington flourished – but the people did not share in its wealth.
Politicians prospered – but the jobs left, and the factories closed.
The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country.
Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.
That all changes – starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you.
It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America.
This is your day. This is your celebration.
And this, the United States of America, is your country.
What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.
January 20th, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.
The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.
Everyone is listening to you now.
You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement the likes of which the world has never seen before.
At the centre of this movement is a crucial conviction: that a nation exists to serve its citizens.
Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighbourhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves.
These are the just and reasonable demands of righteous people and a righteous public.
But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system, flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge; and the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealised potential.
This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.
We are one nation – and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams; and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny.
The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.
For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry;
Subsidised the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military;
We’ve defended other nations’ borders while refusing to defend our own;
And spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay.
We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength, and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon.
One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that were left behind.
The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed all across the world.
But that is the past. And now we are looking only to the future.
We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every hall of power.
From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land.
From this day forward, it’s going to be only America First, America First.
Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.
We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.
I will fight for you with every breath in my body – and I will never, ever let you down.
America will start winning again, winning like never before.
We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams.
We will build new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways all across our wonderful nation.
We will get our people off of welfare and back to work – rebuilding our country with American hands and American labour.
We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and hire American.
We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world – but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first.
We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example – we will shine – for everyone to follow.
We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones – and unite the civilised world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.
At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other.
When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.
The Bible tells us: “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.” (He mentions God here … )
We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity.
When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.
There should be no fear – we are protected, and we will always be protected.
We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement and, most importantly, we will be protected by God.
Finally, we must think big and dream even bigger.
In America, we understand that a nation is only living as long as it is striving.
We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action – constantly complaining but never doing anything about it.
The time for empty talk is over.
Now arrives the hour of action.
Do not allow anyone to tell you that it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America.
We will not fail. Our country will thrive and prosper again.
We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, to free the Earth from the miseries of disease, and to harness the energies, industries and technologies of tomorrow.
A new national pride will stir our souls, lift our sights, and heal our divisions.
It is time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget: that whether we are “black or brown or white,” we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American Flag.
And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty Creator.
So to all Americans, in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, and from ocean to ocean, hear these words:
You will never be ignored again.
Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams, will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way.
Together, we will make America strong again.
We will make America wealthy again.
We will make America proud again.
We will make America safe again.
And, yes, together, we will make America great again.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you. God bless America.